Wales’ Youth Triumph at National Skills Competition

Posted on by karen.smith

English | Cymraeg

Over 280 talented young people from across Wales have been recognised for their outstanding vocational skills at this year’s Skills Competition Wales awards, securing 96 gold, 92 silver and 97 bronze medals.

The announcement follows a series of competitions that took place in January and February, where a record-breaking 1,129 representatives from every corner of Wales competed to be named the ‘country’s best’ in their sector. Competitions covered skill areas including culinary arts, web development, aeronautical engineering and renewable energy.

This year’s competition also saw a steady and encouraging rise in female participation in the traditionally male-dominated construction categories, including carpentry, painting and decorating, and renewable energy, making up 20% of the competitor numbers – an increase of 10% since 2020.

The awards ceremony took place at the ICC Wales in Newport on Thursday 14 March, where medallists received well-deserved recognition for demonstrating their skills and hard work, surrounded by friends and family.
In addition, numerous ‘watch parties’ across Wales allowed competitors and their families to celebrate collectively across the nation.

Gold medallist, Emma Morgan, who competed in the IT Network Security category, described her competition experience: “I’m over the moon to have won a gold medal – it’s a massive honour!

“Having the opportunity to take part in such a prestigious event was amazing and showed me what networking in the real world looks like. It made me excited for what’s possible in the future.

“A standout moment of the competition was getting to meet other competitors from different backgrounds and industries and seeing how talented people my age are. It was a whole new experience and has motivated me to stand out from my peers.

“Looking forward, I’m hoping to go to university or complete a degree apprenticeship. I’m also hoping to be able to compete in the IT Network Systems Administration category at the UK-wide competition, WorldSkills UK.”

Dominic Jenkins, Gold medallist in the Painting and Decorating category, added: “Skills competitions have been a real eye-opener for me. They’ve let me show off my talents and prove to companies what I’m capable of.

“I’ve learned so much, overcome some tough challenges, and gained a lot of confidence. I’m really hoping these competitions help me land a job in the industry and I’m keen to continue challenging myself to see how far I can progress my skills and expertise.”

Skills Competition Wales, run by the Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales project, serves as a launchpad for participants to compete in prestigious national and international events such as WorldSkills UK, EuroSkills, and WorldSkills International. Funded by the Welsh Government, the project aims to nurture talent and drive excellence across different skill sectors by collaborating with a dedicated network of colleges, work-based learning providers and employer-led organisations.

Young people in Wales can also compete in the upcoming SkillBuild and WorldSkills national and international competitions subject to a further round of applications. Registrations for this year’s Skill Build competitions close on 1st April 2024 and WorldSkills UK competitions close on the 28th March 2024.

Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething, said: “Skills Competition Wales serves as the perfect platform for our youth to push their boundaries and showcase their talents.

“One of my priorities for a stronger economy is to focus on young peoples’ skills and creativity, giving them the support they need to achieve ambitious futures here in Wales.

“Having had the privilege of supporting and attending numerous competitions, including this year’s Renewable Energy competition hosted at the Senedd, I’ve witnessed firsthand the remarkable talent pool we have in Wales. It’s truly inspiring to see these young individuals take pride in their work and continuously strive for excellence in their chosen fields.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to each and every competitor for their outstanding achievements so far. Each of you has a very exciting journey ahead.”
As Wales looks ahead, Lyon, France, will host the 47th International WorldSkills competition, where Welsh competitors will represent Team UK to be in with a shot at being crowned the best in the world at their vocational skill.

For more information on skills competitions in Wales and to be in with a chance to represent your country in 2024 and 2025, visit

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